Silence is golden, or at least Hyundai is hoping so with the reveal of new noise cancelling technology for its vehicles.

The Korean company says it has developed the world’s first Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) system.

Nothing new about active noise cancelling which generates white noise to mask background sound.

But this system differs and is said to make a dramatic difference in the level of road noise that penetrates the cabin.

Hyundai plans to start rolling out the new technology in its next model from its luxury Genesis stable.

To put the new technology in perspective, most cars have sound insulation and dynamic dampers, but they fail to block the buzzing “infrasound” completely.

Current Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) employs microphones and controllers to control noise and reduce infrasound more efficiently.

This technology is already available in many cars including some Hyundais.

Due to the limitations of noise measurement and analysis technology, however, the existing technology is effective only when noise is constant and predictable.

But, with the first-ever Road Noise Active Noise Control (RANC) technology, the system can analyse various types of noise in real-time and produce inverted sound waves to cancel it out.

For example, there are different types of road noises that the new technology can process, such as resonant sounds created between tires and wheels or rumble sounds coming from the road.

The technology has been developed in conjunction with the audio company Harman and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Using an acceleration sensor, the system calculates the vibration from the road to the car and the control computer analyses road noise.

As its computation and signal transfer speeds are optimised, it only takes 0.002 second to analyse the noise and produce an inverted sound wave, generated by a digital signal processor.

The new system is able to conduct accurate noise analysis and rapid computation to combat road noise for the driver’s seat, the passenger seat and rear seats separately.

Based on tests evaluating road surface, vehicle speed, and different seating positions, it can reduce cabin noise by up to 3dB.

That’s roughly half the noise level found in most cars on the road.

Not only is the new system set to make cars quieter, it will also make them lighter with fewer sound-insulating parts and dampers required.

The new system is expected to play a major role in electric vehicles, where road and wind noise become more apparent with the sound of an engine.

“Road Noise Active Noise Control is a remarkable technology which takes existing NVH technology to the next level,” a research fellow at Hyundai’s NVH Lab, Gangdeok Lee, said.

 “We will continue to take the leading position of NVH technology and deliver the highest level of quietness to customers.”


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Headshot Riley 96x96 - No noise is good noise, say active Koreans


Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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